On Monday evening during a protest in Lafayette Square, Secret Service says the media were “misdirected” to leave the White House for their safety.
What We Know:
- Monday evening, protesters gathered across the street from the White House and attempted to take down the statue of former president Andrew Jackson that sits in the middle of the park, which called for law enforcement to take action and push the protesters back out of the park.
- In the midst of it all, four journalists were told by the secret service to leave the White House grounds by the Southside of the complex, which isn’t the normal entrance and exit for the media. In situations like this one, the press corps is locking down inside the complex.
- On Tuesday, the Secret Service stated to CNN that the “four members of the media were misdirected” when told to leave the White House grounds.
- “On Monday evening, in response to the increasingly violent demonstrations in Lafayette Park, four members of the media were misdirected by the Secret Service to leave the White House grounds,” a Secret Service spokesperson said. “The members of the press were rerouted to exits on the south side of the complex for their own safety.”
- Alongside the protesters attempting to take down the Jackson statue, protesters spray-painted “BHAZ” (Black House Autonomous Zone) on the pillars of St. John’s Episcopal Church, the church Donald Trump walked to for a photo op.
- The acronym is an apparent reference to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle, where protesters have taken control of a six-square-block area of the city and blocked the police to set up their own self-governing space.
- Monday evening, Trump addressed the issues, tweeting, “Numerous people arrested in D.C. for the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson, in addition to the exterior defacing of St. John’s Church across the street”. He also adds, “10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!”
US Interior Secretary David Bernhardt sided with Trump’s tweet saying, “I just left Lafayette where another so-called ‘peaceful protest’ led to destruction tonight. Let me be clear: we will not bow to anarchists. Law and order will prevail, and justice will be served.”